Friday, September 21, 2007

America and Iran: the spark of war

Sparks of War

Paul Rogers

20 - 09 - 2007

Four fresh developments - involving Israel, France, and Washington and Tehran themselves - are bringing closer a war that could happen by accident.

The two most recent columns in this series have focused on the increasing tensions between the United States and Iran, evident in the belligerent statements coming out of Tehran and the even more sustained, hostile rhetoric emanating from the George W Bush administration and the neo-conservative wing of the Republican Party (see "Baghdad spin, Tehran war" [6 September 2007] and "Iran: war and surprise" [13 September 2007]). Read More

What would a attack on Iran do to the price of oil? What is the Bush administration thinking? Read Paul Rogers analysis. Paul is Professor of Peace Studies at the University of Bradford. Ed.

Two barrels of oil are used for each one found. $100 oil anyone?

September 21, 2007

ROME -- For the peak-oil crowd, that merry band of doomsters who believe global oil production is about to go into irreversible decline and plunge us into a new Stone Age, the timing couldn't have been better. As the Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas was holding its conference in Cork, Ireland, earlier this week, oil prices conveniently set record prices. By midweek, they had gone as high as $82 (U.S.) a barrel.

The conference speakers were no doubt thrilled. If oil prices had been falling, their message would have been laughed out of court. As it were, Ronald Oxburgh, the British lord and geologist who is the former head of Shell U.K., one of the world's biggest oil companies, looked like something of a prophet. He said oil prices could hit $150 as supplies fail to keep pace with soaring demand. Another speaker, CIBC World Markets chief economist Jeff Rubin, predicted prices of "around $100 a barrel by the end of next year." Talisman Energy chief executive officer Jim Buckee talked about rapidly declining production from once-prolific and seemingly stalwart oil fields. Read More

Renewable Energy conference: peak oil and climate change

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Ian Dunlop, Deputy Convenor of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil in Australia, delivered the final keynote address at the Renewable Energy and Regional Australia conference.

Mr Dunlop is a past chairman of the Australian Coal Association, and was the chair of the Australian Greenhouse Office Experts Group on Emissions Trading between 1998 and 2000. He is currently a Fellow of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, and the Energy Institute (UK), and a Member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers of AIME (USA).

"What we're currently doing is completely unsustainable, in a global context," he says. Read More

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Oil Price Tops $82 A Barrel. Do I Hear $85? $90?

Three Record-Setting Days Has One Analyst Thinking Big, And Others Thinking About Peak Oil

Thursday’s oil topped $82 a barrel, capping — perhaps — three straight days of record high prices, according to numerous reports in the press. At least one big name analyst foresees prices rising to at least $85 and perhaps $90 by the end of the year.

Light sweet crude for delivery rose 31 cents to $82.24 a barrel, in New York’s main futures contract, according to AFP.

Even before the price topped out today, Goldman Sachs had forecast $85 a gallon barrels by year’s end, with “significant risks of a spike above $90″ according to numerous reports.

Why? High demand and tight supply.

All this talk about a gap between demand and supply gets people talking about Peak Oil — the idea that the world has pumped about as much oil as it can — cheaply anyway — and we’re looking sooner rather than later at an era when demand consistently outpaces supply. OPEC, when it met earlier this month, agreed to increase oil supply by a “token” amount, to use the word used by the Associated Press. Read More

Curbing consumption: the price of oil and gas supply gaps

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

(NOTE: This is the second of a series of releases on the debate on and implications of Peak Oil which will be the main subject of the upcoming ASPO-USA World Oil Conference, Oct. 17-20, in Houston. For conference information and program details:

HOUSTON, TX - As long as energy prices remain affordable for the general public, who needs to be concerned about depleting oil and natural gas reserves? That's a dangerous attitude to have in today's energy environment, suggests the Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas (ASPO)-USA.

ASPO's 3rd Annual World Oil Conference is at the Hilton Americas in Houston Oct. 17-20 and Honorary Co-Chairman and energy industry veteran Henry Groppe of Groppe, Long & Littell says the prospect of implementing price rationing to allocate constrained supplies isn't well understood. Read More

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

State officials seek 'zero net energy' standards for new homes by 2020

Sacramento Business Journal - 2:26 PM PDT Monday, September 17, 200

A state public utilities commissioner and administrative law judge issued a proposal for energy-efficiency measures Monday, including "zero net energy" standards for new residential construction projects beginning in 2020 and commercial construction beginning in 2030.

Zero energy means buildings use no more energy over the course of a year than they produce through solar power or other energy production technologies.

The proposal, to be discussed by the state Public Utilities Commission on Oct. 18, would also direct utilities to prepare a single, statewide, long-term energy-efficiency plan.

The proposal also seeks to reshape the heating, air conditioning and ventiliation industries by requiring an undefined minimum number of high-efficiency air conditioning systems to be installed or retrofitted on residential and small commercial buildings.

"Basically, the full spectrum of air conditioning equipment sales, installation, and service business practices must change...," commissioner Dian Grueneich and administrative law judge Kim Malcolm wrote in the proposed decision. Read More

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Oil industry 'sleepwalking into crisis'

Former Shell chairman says that diminishing resources could push price of crude to $150 a barrel. 16 September 2007

Lord Oxburgh, the former chairman of Shell, has issued a stark warning that the price of oil could hit $150 per barrel, with oil production peaking within the next 20 years.

He accused the industry of having its head "in the sand" about the depletion of supplies, and warned: "We may be sleepwalking into a problem which is actually going to be very serious and it may be too late to do anything about it by the time we are fully aware."

In an interview with The Independent on Sunday ahead of his address to the Association for the Study of Peak Oil in Ireland this week, Lord Oxburgh, one of the most respected names in the energy industry, said a rapid increase in the price of oil was inevitable as demand continued to outstrip supply. He said: "We can probably go on extracting oil from the ground for a very long time, but it is going to get very expensive indeed. Read More

Friday, September 14, 2007

The End of Oil?

A small - but growing - group of experts think world oil production will peak in the next few years, to devastating effect. September 14 2007

NEW YORK -- At some point in the near future, worldwide oil production will peak, then decline rapidly, causing depression-like conditions or even the starvation of billions across the globe.
That's the worst-case scenario for subscribers to the "peak oil" theory, who generally believe oil production has either topped out or will do so in the next couple of years.
A small but growing group of experts think oil production will peak in the next few years, then decline rapidly. The result could be worse than the Great Depression.

What follows depends on who one talks to, but predictions run the gamut from the disaster scenario described above to merely oil prices in the $200-a-barrel range while society transitions to other energy sources.

It's not a view held by most industry experts, including the oil companies, the government and most analysts at the financial houses.
But its adherents are growing, and include some fairly well-known names.
In the coming week, a former chairman of oil giant Royal Dutch Shell (Charts) is speaking at a peak oil conference in Ireland, as is former U.S. Energy Secretary James Schlesinger.
Most peak-oil proponents simply don't believe the numbers put forward by industry and the government.

The world will produce 118 million barrels of oil a day, up from its current 85 million barrels per day, just to satisfy projected demand by 2030, according to the Energy Information Agency.
"That's never going to happen," said Richard Heinberg, a research fellow at the Post Carbon Institute and author of three books on peak oil.
Heinberg says world production of regular crude oil actually peaked in May 2005. He also says production in 33 of the 48 largest oil producing countries is in decline, and that global oil discoveries peaked in 1964. Read More

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Energy from salt water

Amazing invention to convert salt water into its component gases using radio frequency energy, enabling the hydrogen to be burnt for energy. As long as it creates more energy than it consumes we may all achieve energy security at low cost!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Lovelock: "Respect the Earth"

06 September 2007

Nuclear energy would be vital in a future where the Earth's feedback mechanisms are having to deal with the results of climate change, James Lovelock, environmentalist and originator of the Gaia theory, told delegates to the World Nuclear Association (WNA) 32nd Annual Symposium in London.

James Lovelock at the WNA Annual Symposium
Climate change is more serious than we can possibly imagine, but neither the Earth nor the human race is doomed, said Lovelock. The good news is that the Earth itself is in no danger, with world climate likely to stabilize some 5 degrees C warmer than current temperatures - such stable 'hot' states have existed in the past, including some 55 million years ago when the world's own feedback mechanisms took 200,000 years to recover. During that phase no great extinction occurred, but life moved to cooler climes to survive.

Climate-induced migrations could, for example, see Europe's population concentrated in cooler regions such as the British Isles, Scandinavia and western France - and this could happen within the next century. "If ever nuclear power is needed, it will be then," said Lovelock. Nuclear is the most reliable and demonstrably safest form of energy in existence, Lovelock later told journalists.
Read More